Allow me, if you will, to create an absolutely hypothetical situation (calm down Manchester City). For some unbeknownst reason, Arsenal FC spiral into uncontrollable debt, and have to sell first team players of the squad immediately. Who would be the top grossing members of the team?
1. Cesc Fabregas
Is elaboration even necessary? Despite FC Barcelona’s best attempts in the summer – which were quite feeble in the end – Fabregas remained with Arsenal for at least another season. Barcelona were said to have bid over £30 million for the Arsenal captain, but were knocked back when Wenger said they would want something closer to the fee that Manchester United received for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
2. Samir Nasri
Along with Wilshere, Nasri has helped fill the gaps left by Fabregas’ injury. He has shown that excels in the roaming position, and has the poise to plonk passes to and fro around the pitch. Still only 23, and not yet an established international, his best years are surely ahead of him. His transfer value would come from his class on the ball, his eye for goal and his ability to play impressive through balls.
3. Robin Van Persie
Van Persie simply doesn’t show his face enough for Arsenal, but when he does he takes the team to another level. His left foot combines delicacy and power, he can dribble, header, shoot, pass, do magic tricks – you name it. At 27, he should be just about to hit his prime. This season could be gigantic for him, if he can remain injury free once he is back from his current injury.
4. Andrei Arshavin
While Arshavin may not be the tallest player, or the fastest player, or the most potent in front of goal, it is his ability to beat his man and then either put in a telling cross or take a shot which sees his value soar. It only seems like yesterday that Wenger pulled of a last minute coup to get Arshavin at the club, and since then he has proved his versatility, and his toughness in the Premier League. He also has the uncanny ability to score telling goals even when he’s not playing well. There would be no shortage of takers for Arshavin, and this would definitely create a bidding war.
5. Jack Wilshere
Perhaps a surprising choice, considering how much established quality Arsenal have at their disposal, but Wilshere has proven over the last two seasons that he is a fantastic player, and he possesses two crucial factors in increasing his value: his age, and his nationality. English players are definitely more expensive than their foreign counterparts, and there are very few who managed to establish themselves so well at 18.
Of course, all of this is hypothetical and here’s hoping all these players stay at the Emirates for a long time.